Get to Know: Monique Field-Foster


Monique C. Field-Foster is a senior counsel with Warner Norcross + Judd LLP. An experienced lobbyist and policy analyst, she practices in Warner’s Lansing office as senior counsel of government affairs. She concentrates her practice on all facets of government affairs, including policy strategy and development, analysis and drafting of legislation, legislative events, contract review and other advocacy initiatives.

Previously, Field-Foster served as assistant vice president of strategic initiatives in the Michigan State University Office of Governmental Affairs. She has served as an attorney-lobbyist for Wiener Associates, director of governmental affairs for the Michigan Department of Management and Budget, deputy director of legislative affairs for the governor’s office and a legislative policy analyst for the Michigan House of Representatives.

Field-Foster is a Council of State Government Henry Toll Fellow and a Big 10 Academic Alliance Leadership Fellow. A former member of the Michigan State Bar Representative Assembly, she also is a member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Judicial Qualifications Committee. She serves on the board of directors of Peckham, Inc. and the National Institute of Lobbying and Ethics and is a member of the Lansing Rotary and American Bar Association.

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

 Why did you become a lawyer? Every voice should be given an opportunity to be heard – and I love to argue a point. An experience in high school helped me understand that standing up for someone else’s issue provides the framework to allow someone else to hear what they cannot voice themselves.

What would surprise people about your job? Governmental affairs attorneys build relationships with policymakers that provide access for everyone – nurses, teachers, first responders, nonprofits and corporations. We help create the platform for voices to be heard that can change policies, regulations and laws. The best part of my job is if there is a law or policy that doesn’t work, I work to change it.

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer? Working with Rep. Bill McConico – now chief judge of the 36th District Court in Detroit – as a staff member in the Michigan House of Representatives on eliminating the “650-lifer law” that mandated a life sentence for carrying 650 grams of cocaine.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school? It will be hard, it will be challenging and some days you will wonder whether it is worth it. It is.  So find a study group and get involved in activities, because the experiences you have during this time will help you become a better lawyer.

Who is your law role model? Thurgood Marshall.

What other career path might you have chosen? When I was in college, I took a marketing class as an elective and fell in love with it. Had it not been the end of my senior year, I would have switched majors.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be? My dog. If you have a spoiled dog, you understand.

What do you do to relax? Eat chocolate, travel, swim or take a walk in the woods – and then eat more chocolate.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self?
You are smarter and braver than you think you are, so don’t let fear hold you back from anything. Explore new things, take risks and act like you’ve been there before. You may fail more times than you care to admit, but it will give you the strength to succeed later. You are amazing just the way you are.

Favorite hangouts: Lake Lansing – I love kayaking.

Favorite websites: Amazon.

Favorite app: Babbel and Youversion.

Favorite music: Jazz, gospel, R&B and 80s music, which I have been told has now officially hit the  “classic” category.

What is your happiest childhood memory? Sunday family drives through the Smoky Mountains. My dad would bring the tourist attraction guide and, even though we lived in Tennessee, he would drive us to all the tourist traps to spend the day. Before we went home, we would binge on Mr. Ed’s pizza.

What is your most treasured material possession? For my birthday, I received a small cross pendant. It was right before the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whenever the fear or stress from the loss of people I knew began to overwhelm me, having that pendant reminded me there would be a better day ahead.

What do you wish someone would invent? A time machine.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve been? Alaska – the sheer majesty of the geography is breathtaking. I have traveled many places in the world and have seen beautiful things, but the untouched ruggedness of the mountains and the vibrancy of the colors everywhere you look – from the fjords and glaciers to the rainforests and tundra – looked like a masterpiece painted by God.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? A truth detector. So much of what we do is based on what people tell us and, unfortunately, the consequences we face are based on whether what we were told was fact or fiction.

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do? Sky dive. I have always been an adrenaline junkie. I am licensed to scuba dive and jump out of a perfectly good boat, but I have never “jumped out of a perfectly good plane,” as my father tells me every time I mention the idea.

What is something most people don't know about you? I think chickens are terrifying.

If you could have dinner with three people, past or present, who would they be?
Jesus, Harriet Tubman and President Obama.

What’s the best advice you ever received?
Don’t give up.

Favorite place to spend money: On vacation when I find something unusual I won’t see every day.

What is your motto?
Understand what the rules are, then follow the ones that shouldn’t be changed and change the ones that should. Never be afraid to color outside the lines, but always be true to yourself and respect others in the process.

Which living person do you most admire? My dad. He was a biracial child living with a white family in rural West Michigan in the 1950s. He endured racism and family dysfunction and he was forced to leave home as a young teenager. He lived in his car and washed up in gas stations while working to support himself.  He put himself through college, was the first African American since Reconstruction to earn a doctorate in zoology and retired as a college president. He’s the smartest person I know and is still my mentor.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Surrounding myself with amazing people I can call friends and who are smarter than me.

What is the most unusual thing you have done?
Two shark dives in the Bahamas. The swim with them was exhilarating and joining them while they ate dinner was humbling.


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